Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s minister of energy and natural resources, participated Friday in a ceremonial keel-laying of the Royal Canadian Navy’s future HMCS Preserver.
The activity, which involves placing a newly minted coin near a ship’s keel for good luck, was conducted at Seaspan Shipyards’ facility in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Representatives from RCN and Seaspan laid down the coins on the ship’s keel.
The event marks a milestone in the construction of HMCS Preserver, the second Joint Support Ship. Seaspan began building the ship for the RCN in May 2022.
“Today, Seaspan Shipyards has taken another critical step towards providing the Royal Canadian Navy with the ships they need to go into harm’s way and ensure Canada’s security and sovereignty in an increasingly unstable geopolitical environment,” said John McCarthy, CEO, Seaspan Shipyards.
“Through investments in technology, process improvements and skills upgrading, and by rigorously applying lessons learned from earlier ships we have built, Seaspan is on course to deliver ships faster and for lower cost to Canada.”
The government of Canada is acquiring two JSS as part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. The new Protecteur-class ships will replace the Canadian Armed Forces’ Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment vessels, the last of which was officially retired in 2016.
Once completed, the JSS will provide replenishment capabilities, additional limited sealift and ashore operations support to the RCN.
HMCS Preserver is scheduled for delivery in 2027.